LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 17: Defender Meghan Klingenberg #22 of USA reaches for a high ball in the first half against Mexico during their international friendly match at StubHub Center on May 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg has earned lots of plaudits for her play at this Women’s World Cup, but she and teammate Morgan Brian might not even be the most widely-recognizable figures in their house. That’s because the two of them live with ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy and his family in Houston while they’re playing for the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League. Van Gundy heard about the Dash’s host family program last year and offered his home up, and Klingenberg moved in with them last summer, with Brian joining them this spring. Van Gundy told For The Win’s Laken Litman that the two soccer players are a refreshing change from the NBA players he dealt with as a coach:

“I can’t tell you how fortunate we are,” Van Gundy told For The Win. “You don’t know when you have people, but the example they set and also for me having been in the NBA for a long time, they just have a different perspective because they’ve never had it easy. And it’s interesting to watch them. They’re just really excited about the opportunities and how they go about it is impressive.

“The utter lack of sense of entitlement was actually startling for me. For professional athletes, I always think about it in these terms: the most difficult diva of women’s soccer would be the easiest NBA player ever.”

It’s a situation that’s worked out well for the players, too. Klingenberg initially planned to only live with the Van Gundys (Jeff, his wife Kim, and daughters Mattie, 19, and Grayson, 11) for a few months before finding an apartment, but felt so welcomed she accepted their offer to stay longer:

“They were absolutely so inviting,” she said. “They made me feel like I was part of a family. Their house was my house. Anything I needed they were willing to help.

“I’m involved in all their family activities and invited to everything. I go to the little one’s cabarets and sit with the family, go out to dinner, sometimes I cook for them because they’re not super into cooking. It’s really a great family dynamic because it’s nice being able to come home from soccer and not having to talk about soccer, think about soccer, be around soccer anymore.”…

“I feel like I have my own special little family down in Houston and that wasn’t something I was willing to give up,” she said. “They were so welcoming, inviting me to stay next year and I didn’t even think about getting another apartment.”

Can we get a sitcom out of this? Hey, if they once tried one based on Mark Schlereth’s family, anything’s possible..

[For The Win]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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